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Nonprofits

Building House

The nonprofit sector has been growing steadily, both in size and financial impact, for more than a decade. Between 2001 and 2011, the number of nonprofits has increased 25 percent; from 1,259,764 million to 1,574,674 million today. The growth rate of the nonprofit sector has surpassed the rate of both the business and government sectors.

In 2010, nonprofits contributed products and services that added $779 billion to the nation’s gross domestic product; 5.4 percent of GDP. Nonprofits are also a major employer, accounting for 9 percent of the economy’s wages, and over 10 percent of jobs in 2009. Read more.

Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy

The UI Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy celebrated 15 years with a series of 15th Anniversary events to bring into focus the big issues facing society and the nonprofit sector. More

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Starting Small and Thinking Long-Term: Q&A with Performance Measurement and Evaluation Professionals (Research Brief)
Sarah Gillespie

Despite the importance of performance measurement to nonprofit effectiveness, the state of performance measurement among nonprofits varies widely, and resources to improve capacity are scarce. While learning communities are available to other professionals, very few networks exist for staff focused on performance measurement and evaluation. It’s often described as an isolating position, and staff just getting started in this field are eager for support and advice. We spoke with three nonprofit performance measurement staff who have been navigating their positions within the Washington DC, area for several years, to share lessons learned and tips for getting started and growing.

Posted to Web: August 25, 2014Publication Date: August 25, 2014

Political Activity Limits and Tax Exemption: A Gordian's Knot (Research Report)
Roger Colinvaux

The article considers the correct tax treatment of political activity, examines administrative and legislative options to problems raised, and concludes that after the Citizens United decision, definitional political activity limits on noncharitable exempts should be eliminated, but only if the 527(f) tax on investment income remains vital and there are uniform donor disclosure rules. In addition, Congress should: extend the income tax to transfers of appreciated property to noncharitable exempts, take steps to prevent the laundering of independent expenditures through the charitable form, and develop a new tax baseline for political activity conducted "for profit" or outside of section 527.

Posted to Web: August 25, 2014Publication Date: August 05, 2014

Transforming Performance Measurement for the 21st Century (Research Report)
Harry P. Hatry

While substantial progress has been made in spreading performance measurement across the country and world, much of the information from performance measurement systems has been shallow. Modern technology and the considerable demand for information on progress in achieving the outcomes of public programs and policies are creating major opportunities for considerably improving the usefulness of performance information. This report provides a number of recommendations to help public and private service organizations take advantage of these opportunities, particularly for:(a) selecting appropriate performance indicators and data collection procedures; (b) analyzing and reporting the information; and (c) using the information to improve services.

Posted to Web: July 30, 2014Publication Date: July 30, 2014

Contracts and Grants between Human Service Nonprofits and Government: Comparative Analysis (Research Report)
Sarah L. Pettijohn, Elizabeth T. Boris

Government's reliance on human service nonprofits to provide services has been increasing, expanding the ability of nonprofits to achieve their missions and the ability of government to serve its constituents. This brief summarizes results from human service nonprofits in the second national study of government contracts and grants. We compare results of human service organizations in the 2013 national survey of nonprofits to the results of the survey conducted in 2010. We examine how human service organizations have managed since the recession ended and how their relationships with governments have changed.

Posted to Web: July 24, 2014Publication Date: July 24, 2014

Case Study: NNIP and Open Data in Detroit (Research Brief)
Eric Burnstein

Adopting open data principles is difficult in cities undergoing economic hardship, but the benefits of doing so are great. In Detroit, Data Driven Detroit (D3), a local National Neighborhood Indicators partner, has worked to provide local data to the community free of charge. Though they have encountered institutional and cultural barriers, D3 has advanced their cause through partnership with local organizations and government. With new funding opportunities and new movement on open data by the city, D3 is making data meaningful and accessible, as well as advocating for open data and data-driven decisionmaking by community organizations and government.

Posted to Web: July 22, 2014Publication Date: July 22, 2014

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